27th September 2018

Anthony Speaight KC and a colleague have published a paper arguing that the UK could secure advantage by making an application to re-join EFTA. Membership of EFTA, in addition to inherent benefits, would allow the UK to participate in the benefits and burdens of the EEA as a transitional arrangement without the need to secure permission from the EU27. This would strengthen the UK’s negotiating position. The EU27 would cease to be able to insist on its interpretation of a frictionless Irish border as a precondition to avoiding a “cliff edge”; and it would place the power to determine the end of such transition in the hands of the UK rather than of the EU27.

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